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American General Life Insurance Review

american general life insurance

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

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Searching for the most suitable carrier, and American General came across your path?

You might know for certain you need coverage. But you may still be a bit foggy on which company is the best for you.

American General, the insurance carrier under AIG Direct, is one of over 30 life insurance companies we represent.

If you’re considering them as your life insurance provider, we’ll highlight when we use American General. But we always recommend you compare rates when shopping for life insurance, which you can do on this page.

About American General Life Insurance

American General has been in business for over 160 years and has continued to offer competitive policies since.

All insurance policies are priced based on specific factors such as:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Lifestyle Habits

Life Insurance Policies Offered by American General

American General, however, has designed many different affordable policies that can accommodate these differences in health and lifestyle while still keeping insurance rates affordable.

A few examples of specialty policies include:

Cigar Smoker Policy

Let’s say you only indulge in one cigar per week or less. If you disclose this information at the time of your application, American General may still provide you with rates based on a non-smoker.

This is a very liberal attitude to take regarding any type of tobacco use. And occasional cigar smokers will appreciate the gesture.

With most life insurance companies, even occasional cigar smoking will put in the smokers rating class.

This is going to cause your monthly rates to double. With some insurance companies, you end up paying as much as three times more than other applicants that aren’t in the smoker’s category.

Because of American General’s relaxed stance on cigar smoking, you’d save significant premiums on your life insurance coverage versus going with a different insurance company.

American General Term Conversion

Many people purchase term life insurance to cover a “temporary” need. But others think it’s best to keep their coverage for an indefinite period of time.

With American General Life Insurance, you now have the option to do either.

The company offers Select-A-Term and Ultra-C term life insurance products. Policyholders who are age 70 or under, or whose level premium period has expired (whichever has occurred earlier) can not only convert their term policy to a permanent plan, but they can do so without showing evidence of insurability. So this is especially good news for those that acquire an adverse health condition in the interim.

The term conversion process provides a policyholder the ability to convert a term life insurance policy to a permanent life insurance policy. You can do this without the need to prove that you are “insurable.”

You can still convert your policy over to a permanent type of coverage. Even if you contracted an illness or injury after you obtained the policy.

The steps in converting your policy are fairly straightforward.

Once you and your insurance agent have determined which product is best for you to move in to, you will simply submit the required paperwork.

In most instances, you will receive a new policy number within 24 hours.

For American General policyholders who take advantage of their conversion option, the sooner they do so, the more choices they will have.

For instance, those who convert within their first five years of policy ownership are allowed to convert to any of American General’s permanent life products.

After that, policyholders may convert into specific index universal life and whole life products.

These include:

  • Extend Index Universal Life – In addition to providing strong death benefit protection, this universal life insurance policy allows the ability to allocate premium dollars among several different types of interest rate accounts. Interest crediting is based in part on the one year point-to-point growth in the S&P 500 Index. Cash grows on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that no tax is due until it is withdrawn. And, the growth inside of the cash portion of the policy is protected from market downside losses.
  • Extend Index Universal Life with Age 100 No Lapse Rider – In addition to the above, this policy also provides a no lapse guarantee rider to age 100.
  • Elite Whole Life – The Elite Whole Life insurance policy from American General offers a guaranteed death benefit, along with guaranteed cash value and a set premium amount throughout the life of the policy. This policy can be an ideal extra financial resource to help supplement savings as cash is easily accessible for loan or withdrawal. Cash in the policy also grows on a tax-deferred basis.

Term Life Insurance

AG Select-A-Term

AG Select-A-Term is a fully guaranteed level premium term life insurance product that can be set for a minimum of 10 years, or for any duration of between 15 and 30 years.

This product allows you to match coverage to your specific needs and can be issued to applicants until they are in their 80s.

There is a minimum face amount requirement of $100,000.

According to, you can convert your American General policy up to age 70.

Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance Policies

This plan is simple, “Life insurance protection with any health questions or medical exam.”

Applicants between 50 – 85 are guaranteed to get accepted for coverage, even if they have dozens of health problems.

It’s as simple as giving some basic info. These policies are graded death benefit.

This means for the first two years, you don’t get the face value of the plan. Instead, you get 110% of the premiums paid.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Guaranteed universal policies (regardless of the type of coverage) might be a good choice for anyone who’s been declined for life insurance in the past.

AG Secure Lifetime GUL III

The Lifetime GUL 3 is a guaranteed policy and earns a small amount of cash value.

You’ll get the flexibility of altering your premiums and benefits. You can also choose to add on a few riders.

AG Secure Survivor GUL II

According to their site, this policy is built to “protect personal assets and business holdings form estate taxes.” You’ll get the insurance coverage, but you can also make withdrawals.

Index Universal Life Insurance

Value+ Protector

This policy is a “protection-focused” plan which gives you some interesting advantages for getting the most value of the policy.

Max Accumulator+

This policy is a flexible plan with the goal of retirement in mind. It allows you to get some tax advantages and create some returns on the value of the plan.

Term Life Policies For Those With Diabetes

There are a few ways that you can get better insurance rates if you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, regardless of which company you choose.

One way is to manage your condition by following your doctor’s orders and scheduling regular checkups.

The underwriters specifically look at things like A1C levels, day-to-day blood/glucose management, and how regulated you are in keeping up with your medications, diet, and exercise recommended by your doctor.

Another simple lifestyle changes to make is your tobacco habits. A cessation in smoking can drop your rates by 50% or more.

However, one thing to note: you need to stop for at least 12 months before you’re considered a non-smoker by any company.

But to be completely honest, when it comes to type 2 diabetes, you’ll have better luck with a company like Banner Life.

Is American General Life Insurance Best for You?

Every applicant is different and everyone has different health situations and life insurance needs.

There is no “one size fits all” life insurance policy that is going to work well for every.

Overall American General is a financially strong company with very competitive term life insurance rates.

They also allow you to convert term to permanent policies and offer competitive options for Universal Life policies – both Index Universal and Guaranteed No Lapse Universal.

The key is to know whether or not they are the right company for you.

If you are in excellent health, the best thing to do is compare rates and find the best-priced carrier that has a rating of at least an A from A. M Best.

If you have a pre-existing condition, the best plan is to contact a high-risk life insurance agency (like ours) and find out who is the best company to go with based on your specific situation.

You can compare rates on this page using our quote form, or call us at 800-712-8519.

Picture of Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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